A NEWPORT Gwent Dragons Development XV will take on Duncan Bell’s Lydney in a pre-season friendly, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Rodney Parade region will slot a clash against their former tighthead’s team between their warm-ups against Bristol and Northampton.

The first teamers will go up against the big-spending Championship side and the Aviva Premiership champions while a mixture of the younger members of the squad, academy talent and the odd seasoned campaigner will take on Lydney at Regentsholme on Sunday, August 24.

The Gloucestershire club are coached by former England prop Bell, who came out of retirement to help the Dragons out of a pickle last season.

The 39-year-old made nine appearances for the region and has called in a favour in order to give his side a workout ahead of their National Two South campaign.

A sizeable chunk of the Dragons’ Under-20s contingent from the Junior World Championship are likely feature in Lydney along with the next batch of academy talent and some of the players that are working their way back from injury.

The region open their Guinness Pro12 campaign against Connacht in Galway on the first weekend of September and the frontline players will warm-up by taking on Bristol at Ashton Gate on Sunday, August 17 and Northampton on Friday, August 29.

The venue for the clash is yet to be confirmed but it is set to be played at Ebbw Vale’s Eugene Cross Park rather than Rodney Parade because of security measures in Newport ahead of the Nato summit at the Celtic Manor the following week.